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September 05, 17:02

Caput Anecdotes: Trust and economics

Since castle Caput has finally crumbled to ruins, I'll be taking some time to share a few choice anecdotes from my time there over the coming days. These are meant less as bashing of individuals and more as teaching stories.

Trust and Economics
When Caput hired me, they made an explicit $25k+ salary investment and a, probably similiar, implicit investment in training, equipment, travels. Both of these investments ran over just around eight months.

They were based solely on a one hour interview and a piece of paper that listed bullet points of previous performances. To my knowledge, none of the references were ever checked. I was never told to present any additional material from the projects I'd worked on.

It basicly all came down to trust. They trusted that Caput would derive more value from my work than what they had to pay to get it.

You would expect that this placed a premium on my judgement in most cases that fell within my area of expertise, and certainly in the area of what tools I needed to make their investment worthwhile.

Not so. They didn't even trust me to purchase a $40 piece of development software on my own accord. Let's let that amount sink in.


It took a small week, the review of four people, and an attempt to dissuade me from spending company cash on shareware, if the task could be solved in another way, to make it happen. After that ordeal, I ceased trying to improve my productivity through better tools (at least on company time).

Go the whole nine yards to make sure your $25k+ investments are solid, but don't question your employees over petty cash. It's demoralizing and bad for business.

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